I should have written about Belly Up when I read it two years ago as a CYBILS finalist and now, with author Stuart Gibbs' Spy School and Spy Camp additions, I have decided that an author feature is probably just the motivation that I needed! I will start by saying that I am not all that cracked up with "funny"stories, especially gratuitous humor. The great thing about Mr. Gibbs' writing? Authentic, quirky humor, not forced or center-staged humor, his is a 'smart' humor. All of his stories are mystery/adventure, great for both boys and girls, and solidly middle grade.
Belly Up: Still my favorite, Belly Up begins with a dead hippopotamus, floating 'belly up' in his zoo pond. Teddy Roosevelt Fitzroy & Summer McCracken, aged twelve, don't believe it was an accident like the zoo management contends and they very quickly realize lots of people wanted Henry the hippo dead. This book has TONS going for it and even the most reluctant reader will be enticed. The action is fast-paced, with all sorts of who-done-it possibilities. The humor is so smart, almost farcical. Add in the random animal facts that flow naturally within the story and this is perfect for just about ANY reader!
Stuart Gibbs also writes movies and TV shows. He likes to do dangerous things like 'canyoneering' in his free time. He lives in LA with his wife and two children. You can read more about him on his website.